Timing is everything

Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 09:40 PM.

From changing the order in meetings when public comment could be offered to monitoring a time limit, based on advance request to be on the agenda, to having requests for public input come solely through the chairman, the BOCC has seemed less than embracing of public comment.

On issues of particular controversy – for example, moving highways, county-wide voting, time zone changes, RV ordinances, the Gulf County Tourist Development Council, the city of Port St. Joe – commissioners have expressed something of a hostility to public comment.

For example, during the debate about putting the time zone question to non-binding referendum – a request from a high school government class –Commissioner Carmen McLemore suggested the solution was walling the county off at the White City Bridge, where the time zone changes.

That’s just one example among many.

Commissioners also have no reservations about special meetings, held on the shortest possible public notice on issues large and primarily small.

So, at this time, given that history, commissioners should be none surprised, and in fact it was mentioned during the special meeting, that there are skeptics about commissioners moving all regular meetings to the daytime.

These are difficult times, two paychecks is hardly enough for some and not remotely enough for far too many.

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